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October 29, 2009

Vera Clemente

Derek Jeter

Allan H. "Bud" Selig


BOB COSTAS: The Roberto Clemente Award as you know is one of the most prestigious and significant in all of baseball. At the same time I'm going to try to move things along because Derek Jeter has other business, as do all of you. Vera Clemente, Roberto Clemente's widow, is on the dais as is Commissioner Selig and Dan Adamcheck, who is the regional sales and marketing manager for Chevrolet who sponsors the award, along with Derek Jeter. Without further adieu let's bring Commissioner Selig to the microphone.
COMMISSIONER ALLAN H. "BUD" SELIG: Thank you, Mr. Costas. I want to thank all of you for being here today. I especially want to thank the Clemente family, Vera, Roberto, Jr., Luis, for all they have done in perpetuating the legend of the great Roberto Clemente. I also want to thank our sponsor, Chevy, for continuing to support this wonderful award and for contributing to the many charitable organizations that our players do support.
But first I want to take this opportunity to honor you, Vera. You have always been a steadfast supporter of our game, and to people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Just as your husband did, you believe in the importance of courage and character and the value of giving back to the community. It is my pleasure to announce here tonight that you are Major League Baseball's Goodwill Ambassador, and congratulations.
I have a special pin that I'm sure you will wear wherever you go when representing us, and I want you to know what a wonderful honor it is to have you doing it.
VERA CLEMENTE: I want to thank Commissioner Allan Selig and Major League Baseball for this opportunity. I've always been working not only in Puerto Rico but different countries, with youngsters, baseball leagues, all the ages, and schools, students, and I do the things Roberto always did with the kids, and in different countries, too.
This opportunity will be good for me, you know, to keep working hard with this new era to provide more advice for the children to be better, and when they have the ability, for example, in baseball or any other sport, for them to be a star. Derek Jeter is a good example of that. Thank you for this opportunity with Major League Baseball. I will do my best to keep doing what I have been doing all these years.
COMMISSIONER ALLAN H. "BUD" SELIG: Thank you very much, Vera. We're very honored to have you.
The Roberto Clemente Award is one of baseball's greatest honors. It's named for the player, as you all know, who made the ultimate sacrifice, while on a mercy mission to help earthquake victims in Nicaragua on New Year's Eve 1972. The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet annually goes to the player who combines outstanding dedication to giving back to the community and outstanding skills on the baseball field.
This year's recipient is also a man of great character and a strong sense of giving back. On his way to 3,000 hits and a Hall of Fame career, he's dedicated himself to very important work with the Turn 2 Foundation. He has made a great impact on the young people of Western Michigan, Tampa, Florida, and New York City, keeping them off drugs and alcohol and teaching them the values that will lead to a better and more fulfilling life.
I am proud and honored to announce that this year's recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet is Derek Jeter. Derek, congratulations. You're a wonderful role model not only for the youth of America but also for our players. You have been the face of baseball for many years, and you're truly deserving of this award.
I have just something that I don't want to embarrass Derek, but as a player like Derek Jeter, it makes me very proud to be the commissioner of baseball. Derek?
DEREK JETER: I've got the commissioner fooled, too, huh? (Laughter.)
I just want to say, first of all, thank you for this award. Roberto Clemente, what he stood for not only on the field but the way he represented himself and gave back to the community off the field, he deserved so much credit. Mrs. Clemente, as well, it's a pleasure to be here, say hello, meet you. I've been a big fan of Roberto. Obviously I didn't know him but I'm aware of all the things he did in the community, and you, as well. I have to point out my family is here, as well, my parents, sister Sharlee. They deserve a lot of credit for not only helping me start this foundation but pretty much running it on a day-to-day basis. I want to thank them for coming out here. My sister now is running it. I know she wanted me to mention that. If you guys have any questions, please direct it towards her.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
BOB COSTAS: For those who might not be aware, Dr. Charles Jeter and Derek's mom Dorothy and the aforementioned Sharlee Jeter seated right there, one of Roberto's son Luis Clemente is right here in the front row in the great jacket, as well. Dan Adamcheck from Chevy is up here on the dais. You'll have all your opportunities throughout the series to talk baseball with Derek. We will have an opportunity here just for three or four questions quickly, and we ask that you keep it to the Roberto Clemente Award and the reason here we're just in this small segment of time.

Q. You know Roberto Clemente? You know him?
DEREK JETER: I've never met him, but yeah, I'm well aware of what he has done not only on the field but in the community. I think every player is aware of that, and if they're not aware, they should learn about him. I've been sort of a student of the game for years now, and Roberto is someone that I think he makes everyone want to give back to the community.
I think if you're in this position you should try to take advantage of it, and you should try to give back as much as you can.

Q. It probably can't get much better than this right now. It's a very unique situation where the Roberto Clemente Award winner is also playing in the World Series game that night. Could you describe the situation and the feeling for you right now with everything happening here?
DEREK JETER: Yeah, it's fun. Obviously we're very excited we're in the World Series, but it's nice to get an opportunity to focus on something that really has to do with something more than baseball. It has to do with community work and giving back to the community. Like I said, I think, you know, people in our position, they should take advantage of it. They should try to give back as much as possible. I know I'm being awarded for this right now, but there's a lot of players that give back to the community, and I think everyone should be commended for that.

Q. We all know that Roberto Clemente was from Puerto Rico. Would you agree that this award not only represents the generosity of players in Major League Baseball but also the tremendous generosity of the American people, especially in Puerto Rico?
DEREK JETER: No question. I've spent a lot of time in Puerto Rico throughout the years. Great country. You know, but this award here has a lot to do with not only just people in this country, but there's been past recipients that have won it from other countries, and I think it's the generosity of players in general, not necessarily where they're from, but their mindset of giving back and taking advantage of this platform, like I said earlier, and getting an opportunity to help out a lot more people.
That was the focus when we started the foundation was to have the opportunity to help out as many kids as possible, and we hope to continue this for many years to come.
BOB COSTAS: We're going to let Derek get going because he has other business at hand. Congratulations, Derek.

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